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Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | Why You Should Use Glycolic Instead of Retin-A

Why You Should Use Glycolic Instead of Retin-A

What is Retin-A

Retin-A is the brand name of tretinoin. Tretinoin is the acidic form of Vitamin A, also called retinoic acid. This product is available by prescription only to treat both acne and photo-aging. It works by increasing cell turnover and shedding the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, which is called exfoliation.

Why Glycolic is Superior

Many people who use Retin-A experience side effects, the most common being flaking and irritation. This occurs because Retin-A is a potent acid. In addition to increased irritation, many people experience sensitivity to the sun, as well as an increase in broken capillaries on their face. To hear more about the side effects of Retin-A, see the DermTV episode "Viewer Examples of Why I Don't Prescribe Retinoids".

These side effects are why Dr. Schultz prefers glycolic to Retin-A. While Retin-A effectively exfoliates the skin, glycolic performs the same tasks without irritation and without the need for a prescription. In fact, Dr. Schultz no longer prescribes Retin-A in his office, instead delivering the results his patients expect with gentle yet effective glycolic products.

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